214 thoughts on “All together now…”

  1. [i]”I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life,” Clemens said Tuesday in a statement issued through his agent, Randy Hendricks.[/i]

    I guess it depends on what the meaning of “banned” is.

  2. Sorry Mac, it was a joke about a former politician so I didn’t think it would have a negative effect. I guess since his wife is running, then it makes it more relevant.

  3. Re: Michigan vs Vandy 2006 then I will let the discussion drop (temporarily as always) and return back to whatever everyone besides me wants to talk about.

    Michigan is notorious for taking a lead and sitting on it, not attempting to demonstrate its superiority by running up the score

    Vandy Michigan
    POINTS 7 27
    FIRST DOWNS 9 20
    TOTAL OFFENSE YDS 171 381
    Possession Time 26:31 33:29
    Third-Down Conv 4 of 15 10 of 18
    Red-Zone Score 0-0 3-3
    Sacks-YDS 1-9 6-38
    Field Goals 0-0 2-3

    How can anyone say that game was close?

  4. Vandy did not almost beat Michigan last year. As Dix clearly points out, that’s absurd.

    Vandy did give the Wolverines a good game in the Big House for nearly three quarters though before Michigan pulled away and, ultimately, it was not particularly close: 27-7 and all of the stats above (thanks, Dix)

    This doesn’t mean much. Vandy has heart and put up a good fight. Michigan took care of business and went on to have a great year.. until 2007, beginning in January.

  5. Stu said:

    “I just spent a weekend in Norman, Oklahoma for a buddy’s wedding, and I can assure you that that name fits another school much better.

    I have no idea how Bob $toop$ convince$ kid$ to go there to play.”

    It could have something to do with OU having the winningest program since WWII. Some recruits like to win.

    Anyway, what’s wrong with my university? When did you visit?

  6. It really isn’t the school; it’s the town. Just boring and flat and ugly. The weather didn’t help.

    And you can win at a lot of places with much, much better options for things to do outside the football stadium. For example, why would a kid from Texas choose Norman over Austin? I have no idea, and yet it happen$ all the time.

  7. Well, the worst ice storm of my lifetime couldn’t have helped. Lots of Texas kids–especially East Texas kids–grow up in small towns and prefer Norman to Austin, which isn’t really a college town. Sure, Austin’s pretty sweet, but it’s not really based around the college as much as most other places.

    Plus, about 95% of their life is going to be in or around campus, and OU’s campus isn’t boring or ugly, though it is sort of flat. The other 5% can be spent in Oklahoma City, which, while will have an NBA team in two years, something Austin can’t say for itself. I guess I have a hard time imagining why life in Austin would be preferable to the average football recruit. I know why I’d like it more, but I don’t imagine most football recruits give a crap about SXSW, ACL or the indie music scene in Austin. Nor do they care that UT is the better school academically.

    The dollar signs are a bit tired though. Texas has its problems in that area as well.

  8. Hey, I’m no Texas fan and I have no doubt that they do their fair share of cheating. I just can’t fathom a situation in which I would prefer OU to Texas, minus some extra money changing hands. One doesn’t have to be particularly cultured or bright to see how much more enjoyable it would be to live in Austin than Norman.

    I will say that the Oklahoma City airport was by far the prettiest structure I saw in the state all weekend.

  9. If all that mattered were the fun-ness of the town, Vanderbilt would have the top recruiting class in the SEC every year.

  10. Driving through Oklahoma has been a problem for a lot of people. (World Wide Volkswagon Corp. v Woodson)

    Oh and Vandy is winless vs the Big Ten.

  11. Northwestern is 0-1 all-time vs. the SEC in its only bowl game. They got blasted by Tennessee.

    Vanderbilt has never played a Big 10 school in a bowl game.

  12. I should add that one of the reasons there are relatively few Big 10-SEC matchups in the record books is that for many years the Big 10 and Pac 10 had exclusive tie-ins with the Rose Bowl, so no other Big 10 team played in a bowl. Hence Alabama (which has been in more bowl games than any other school) has only played Michigan three times, OSU three times, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin only once, and the rest of the conference (sans Penn State, whom they played 13 times when PSU was an independent) not at all.

  13. Jeez you guys are sensitive, I was just taking a shot at Stu. You guys do it so often here I figured you’d see it for what it was.

  14. As a Canadian, we learned our lesson before you Southerners. i.e. When national hero Ben Johnson never…NEVER took steroids, he was set up, it was a conspiracy. The rest of the world took a look at the evidence, and the guy and shrugged their collective shoulders and said ‘well of course’ all the while believing that Carl Lewis was squeeky clean. I’ve never believed any denial since that time and there is no way that Clemens will change that.

    I will admit to a sigh of relief when no current Braves were on that list.

    cheers, kp

  15. As ridiculous as it may sound, the local AM sports radio is reporting that the Braves are in talks with the Twins about aquiring Joe Nathan….makes NO sense to me, any thoughts from you guys?

  16. Whatever we give up to get Joe Nathan now, we will probably get back better than that when we trade Soriano at the trade deadline. And we might get back Gonzalez too right?

  17. True, but, Soriano and Gonzalez are both cheap and under our control for awhile. Nathan makes 5.25 mil per year. I’d rather have a real centerfielder. Unless the plan is to aquire Nathan and trade Soriano….

  18. i like soriano. but i bet we’d all rather have someone else once he starts giving up those HR balls.

    i still wouldn’t pay that much for a closer though.

  19. #19

    As one of the only people on Bravesjournal who has lived in Austin (lived there from Dec. 1997 to May 2000), there’s no kid, small town vs. big city that could possibly choose Norman over Austin, just based on the city alone.

    One needs to only spend about 24 hours in Austin and see the insanely beautiful women swarming the town to understand, then take a U.T. recruit to 6th street on Friday night and try telling him OU and Norman is a better experience.

    The bottom line is Stu’s reasoning for choosing Norman has some merit; the only other reasons kids usually go to a school are the obvious A) winning tradition B) on TV a lot (and winning) and C) opportunity to play or start, sooner than later.

    If C were the biggest factor, then every kid would go to Baylor, Duke, Ole Miss or Indiana for football.

    The fact remains, if OU is winning 10 games+ a year and on TV regularly and always playing in a BCS game, plus, they have a young and energetic head coach like Stoops, it’s easy to keep piling studs into Norman (though admittedly not all will go there for above board reasons).

    But as soon a nothing town like Norman stops winning, then it becomes the next Nebraska. Oh sure, lots of big time kids went to Lincoln when they were going 11-1 every year, but once the tradition stopped, what incentive has a kid had the last several years to go to a place like Lincoln and play for mediocre coaches like Bill Callahan and Frank Solich?

    Mack Brown should always be able to have a Top 5 recruiting class just by virtue of having a city like Austin.

  20. A school can have enough tradition that even if it stops winning it will still draw on that tradition and not lose its recruiting pool. South Bend is one of the worst college towns in the history and future of the universe, but nevertheless, no matter how crappy the team or how fat and obnoxious the coach, kids still want to go there because it is Notre Dame. Kids want to go to Michigan to wear the cool jerseys. Kids want to to go Ohio State to get paid, etc. etc.

  21. If I were a kid that was choosing where to go to school then I think the tradition would have a huge pull (more than the city). It would be sweet to play for the school you always grew up cheering for — which probably has little to nothing to do with the city.

    but i think we’re getting further away from the original argument.

    we could use some baseball to talk about.

  22. continuing the previous thought — I didn’t choose a grad school based on the city. Madison’s a great place, but it’s freezing cold for way too long in the winter (and it’s been super nice at home in VA lately — argh). i chose the school that would “start” me (meaning, the one that actually admitted me, heh heh).

  23. Austin rules, Norman drools, and Clemens is a tool. Did I miss anything?

    Oh yeah, there’s no way Nashvegas is more fun than Athens. I’ve lived in both. Nashville has better BBQ and The Great Escape, other than that, no contest.

  24. I believe Nashville to be superior to Athens in every conceivable way, and even some inconceivable ones.

    What is so good about Athens anyway?

  25. dix — cold. teens and twenties lately, but much lower with the wind. snow piled up everywhere that won’t go away for a while. i can’t remember if it snowed during any of the games this year though… (i haven’t paid close attention, it’s been a bad semester)

  26. Now Dix you’ve really angered the football Gods.

    Athens is one of the best college towns in America. Not only is it a mini Austin (and I have Tennessee, Auburn and Florida pals who agree about Athens’ greatness), but you are 45 minutes from Atlanta.

    It was among the best 4 years of my life and it was largely because the town is so filled with great restaurants, bars, women, history, is pictaresque and the most gorgeous football stadium in America.

  27. And Dix, just because you obviously hate the Dawgs, doesn’t mean you can dis Athens.

    Again, I have plenty of friends who are hardcore football rivals of mine who LOVE Athens and love to party there. You are hard pressed to find too many people who don’t like Athens, even if they don’t like the Georgia Bulldogs.

    You do need to separate the two.

    I have the good fortune of liking both.

  28. Athens is a good college town, but I can’t see why anyone over 22 would want to live in a college town.

    And I’ve lived in both, too. It’s not close. And I know multiple bassists who would agree with me. :)

  29. Not to mention a world class music and arts scene almost totally free of corporate influence. At any given moment there are 400 bands in Athens and 50 of them are as good as any band in the country.

  30. urlhix,

    I was disappointed to see Starbucks break into downtown Athens, but you are correct and it is one of the greatest experiences and 18-22 year old kid can ever have.

  31. I don’t see how any bass player with a conscience (or taste) can live in Nashville these days. You might as well make sausage, because that’s what the music coming out of there is, effectively.

  32. The BBQ in Tuscaloosa is pretty famous but the best BBQ I have ever had (sorry Stu) is in Austin.

    Then again, I only like Beef BBQ and not Pork BBQ and I believe Memphis only does pork?

  33. Well, Edgar Meyer would probably disagree with you, but it doesn’t really matter for my purposes. The music out of Nashville may have lost some luster, but on any given night I can find a show as good or better than anything in Athens. Artists, even if they aren’t from here, do tend to spend a lot of time here.

  34. Alex,

    How do I obviously hate the Dawgs? When have I said one bad thing about them? They’re my second favorite team and 3rd place is a tie between everyone who isn’t Michigan, Ohio State, or Notre Dame.

    I can’t listen to someone describe Athens as picturesque though and keep a straight face. It may have good bars, though I disagree some on the good restaurants front, but the scenery is not much to speak of in my opinion. I have spent 3.5 years of my life in Athens. 3 recently and .5 at around age 20. It never really grew on me and I couldn’t wait to leave. I know most everyone loves it, but I never saw what they see in it.

  35. “May have lost some luster”. *wipes away tears of laughter* That is some serious funny, Stu.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I do like Nashville. Have several close friends that still live there. Been going there since I was 16 to see shows. But there is really no comparison between the two, for me.

    Hey, everyone has their own idea of “fun”. As it should be.

  36. Dix,

    I can’t fathom someone who could live in Athens and hate it, unless you lived in the projects, which Athens has, but so does Nashville and every other city?

  37. Nah I lived in normal apartments in fine areas. I didn’t hate it, I was just happy to leave. I always listen to people talk about Athens, but to me they just sound like everyone else who talks about their own college town. I’ll admit that while Athens never really resonated with me personally, it is still high on my list of college towns I’ve been too. Most others have literally nothing to offer. Athens at least has a ton of stuff going on at all times.

  38. I lived in Athens from 1981-90 & I still have very good friends there. It’s one of the great American towns for artists & those similarly inclined.

    If that doesn’t describe you, I don’t know what to tell you. You may not like it. Cobb County may suit you better.

    I grew up in Columbus, Ga., which was anything but a place for artists, outsiders, intellectuals or people who were even the slightest bit curious. It was more of a town for artillery, not ideas.

    So, if you grew up in Georgia in the 1970s like I did, a town like Athens was quite simply a miracle.

  39. Well, compared to Columbus GA yes, Athens is amazing.

    It sounds you’re in love with it because it is musically relevant and because you lived there during the best years of your life.

    How do people who visit it for the first time post-college usually feel about it, just curious?

  40. The Dreamland in T-town is still my personal favorite, but yeah, Alex, that beef brisket BBQ in Texas is something special. I’m getting close to approximating it with some delicious grass-fed brisket from a farmer up the road. It’s pecan wood smoked instead of mesquite but with the right dry rub and some Stubb’s sauce on it and it’s pretty dang close.

    ububba, you hit the nail on the head. I was just going to post about Athens as a town of ideas. That is probably the best thing about it, really. Creative people of all description concentrated in a relatively unfettered and ever changing environment. If that doesn’t inspire you, yeah, move to Cobb Co. Please.

  41. I admit that music is one of the least important things in my life, which probably doesn’t help endear Athens to me.

  42. Describing Athens as a town of ideas is basically the same thing as describing it as a town with a major university.

  43. Dix,
    I wouldn’t call those the best years of my life. NYC has been pretty good, too.

    And there are a lotta Columbus, Georgia’s out there. Albany, Macon, Dothan, Chattanooga, Augusta, Greenville, etc., are all the same town. Nothing against those places, but there’s very little in those places that I find interesting.

    Dunno how many college towns you’ve been to, but very few are like Athens. Just at UGA itself, you have a journalism school, an art school & a music school—a fairly rare trifecta. And, I must say, some very interesting people came from all three.

    Plus, you had folks (like urlhix) coming to town for the music scene. Again, having a place where you could play original music & pretty much support yourself & be rewarded is incredibly rare.

  44. I would never describe Auburn as a town of ideas.

    But yeah, if you are not interested in music or the creative process, Athens might not be the place for you. Like I said, everyone has their own idea of fun.

    However, I can be at Turner Field in just over an hour. I know it’s not the same as going to see the Sounds but I’ll take it ;o)

  45. The only beef I have with visits to Athens are the less-than-accommodating tailgating environs. Sanford is great, but the surrounding areas ain’t.

  46. I like Clearwater, FL. The beach, Clearwater Threshers, and Scientologists. What more can you ask for?

    And I resent the knock on northern Florida. You’re mean, Mac.

  47. You’ve got me there, urlhix. I can and do see just about every Vanderbilt basketball, baseball and, unfortunately, football home game up here, though. :)

  48. I can see why. Last time I visited Sanford was 1997. We tailgated in the projects — paid to use a nice family’s bathroom instead of hiking to the nearest gas station where the line was 15 minutes long.

  49. “As one of the only people on Bravesjournal who has lived in Austin (lived there from Dec. 1997 to May 2000), there’s no kid, small town vs. big city that could possibly choose Norman over Austin, just based on the city alone.”

    Stephen Good, for one. There are plenty of others who simply prefer Norman. I don’t, really. Norman definitely isn’t a better place to visit, but it might be a better place to raise a family, I dunno. The traffic situation in Norman is about a million times better, at the very least.

    Norman is a much better place for a football player though. OU has better coaches, a better stadium, better fan support, many more championships, etc. Plus, for a lot of players in Texas Norman is closer to home than Austin. Also, football players for whatever reason tend to think of themselves as a religious bunch. Norman is a lot friendlier place for religious conservatives than Austin.

    All this being said, I understand the bashing on Norman. There’s nothing here overly incredible that makes it stand out. But it isn’t any different from any other mid-sized college town in that it really has one thing that sets it apart. Mississippi has Faulkner and that nausea-inducing fake southern culture crap, Athens has great music, etc. Norman has OU football. So it’s sort of like Tuscaloosa I guess.

  50. ububba,

    Odd that a Georgia fan would have no Sanford tailgating experiences. Is the campus and town so much better than the crowd gathering around the stadium on game days? Or is your heart tied to a specific house/bar?

  51. Gregson,
    Dunno, I lived there for large parts of 9 years. Never struck me as odd at all.

    I mean, why would I go out into a field in some some alum’s Winnebago when I could roll out of bed, crack some beers, walk to the game from my house & hit the Taco Stand on the way?

    Plus, I don’t like to get up that early. Still don’t.

  52. I recommend tailgating as a worthwhile life experience. Food’s better than a Taco Stand too. I’m not a fan of early awakenings, generally. You’d get the hang of it, I’m sure.

  53. “Food’s better than a Taco Stand too”

    Maybe, but it’s not better than THE Taco Stand. I live 30 mins from the closest T-Stand (Heck, I’m 30 mins from any civilization these days) and still eat there at least once a week.

    Bean Burrito Sancho for the win!

  54. Gregson,
    Dunno if you know this, but The Taco Stand on Milledge Avenue (next to the Dunkin Donuts off Prince Ave) is one of Athens’ deep pleasures.

  55. Filed under Future Gustatory Pleasures.

    Next time I’m there (it’s a long way from NYC) I’ll try the Herschel, which I’m told is better than the man-child himself. I imagine they serve a Champ as well.

  56. I loved the Patton Oswalt bit. I have several 40ish friends in Athens now — some are thriving, some are stuck. Personally, I loved it, but stayed a few years too long. Still like to visit, though. “Bubble dream city of goodness” indeed.

    Eh, whatever. People like what they like. Where you stand depends on where you sit.

  57. My motto in Athens was always, “you may not love the Taco Stand, but you have to LOVE the Taco Stand prices!”

    One of the few places a poor coolege student on loans and working 3 jobs, simultaneously, could always afford to eat.

    The other place I could always afford was the Dining Hall, where stealing bagels and cereal in 1-zip ziploc bags was an art form for all of us who needed to be creative and cheap for eating on the weekends. My meal plan oddly only covered 1 meal, Saturday morning, on the weekend. Didn’t even cover Friday dinner (hence regular Friday dinners @ the Taco Stand).

    If I was feeling “splurgy”, I dined at the Mellow Mushroom.

    Once I hit my Junior year and actually wanted to go on an occassional date, I usually took my dates to The Grit (a famous Athens eatery) or to Inoko’s, for some Benihana style eating and the best “mystery” yellow sauce on the eastern seaboard.

    I have to be honest, Dix – I am not a big music guy either. I probably fall closer to you on that than ububba. (Though I certainly attended plenty of live music shows during my time there). But I did enjoy Athens for it’s hilly beauty and yes, I did regularly tailgate with all those old timers who drove their winnebago’s onto campus and were grilling burgers during home game weeks by Tuesday or Wednesday.

    One thing we know how to do in the South is TAILGATE.

  58. #77

    Rob, to each their own, but I left Austin in May of 2000 for a job in Tampa, FL.

    I had moved to Washington, DC by November of 2000.

    Please don’t try and sell me on the wonderment of central Florida. I get that some people like it, but I couldn’t take living there after just 5 months and left for the DC area (had some friends in the area that convinced me to come here and not go back to Atlanta) literally sprinting out of the state.

    Just my 2 cents but no amount of $ could ever bring me back to living there. I think it’s why there are so many gator fans in Atlanta as well – many of them prefer being out of the central Florida are as well.

    (but I don’t begrudge your feeling of warmth to clearwater – to each their own).

  59. Re: Steroids

    I find it hilarious when a guy (Brian Roberts) says he took steroids one time and that was it. That reminds me of any teenager trying to convince their parents that they are just holding the pack of cigarettes for a friend. How Lame? Do you really think I’m that stupid?

    Also, Clemens is full of crap!

    Carry On…

  60. Mac,

    Any part of Florida that isn’t on the coast sucks. In fact, if we gave it bak to Spain, I wouldn’t care.

  61. Amen, Smitty.

    But I would recommend Spain taking the entire state. Again, this is just my personal opinion…

  62. One more interesting note on recruiting. Despite Mac’s slur against Tallhassee, it is actually a nice city and a fun place to live. Of course having lived in Greenville, S.C. the five years prior could have warped my perspective somewhat.

    One thing that FSU has in its favor recruiting-wise, is Florida A&M within a few miles of its campus. It’s easy to say that Austin and Athens are great towns (they are), and why would anyone in their right mind not want to live and play football there. If you are an 18 year old African American kid, you may have a different perspective.

    I know that African American recruits who visit FSU are not only swayed by the other things mentioned in this post but by the social advantages of having a large, traditionally black college in the same city.

  63. One of my favorite things to do for my friends is bring them to their first big-time college football game. Since I am a Georgia fan, that means Saturday in Athens. I have brought friends from Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Long Island to games and all agree it is one of the most fun weekends of their year.

    Everyone I’ve brought to the game enjoys the town, the ladies, and the atmosphere in and around Sanford. I’m sure the same can be said for other SEC towns, but I am partial to Athens. I have only been to Columbia to see an away game.

  64. Despite Mac’s slur against Tallhassee, it is actually a nice city and a fun place to live.

    LOL.

    Alex R.,

    You spent much time in Nashville? You’re right about Athens being pretty, but if it’s “hilly beauty” you’re looking for, it doesn’t get much better than Middle Tennessee.

  65. Hate,

    Having been to Nashville, Gainesville, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge & Columbia, the only atmosphere I would equate in terms of fan presence, beauty of surroundings and general craziness is Tuscaloosa.

    I think some of those other SEC cities can match Georgia/Athens in terms of fan craziness (the SEC fans as a whole are the best in the nation) in fact, the LSU fans are the meanest (which is its own category) but in terms of matching fan craziness AND beauty of surroundings, only Tuscaloosa compares to Athens.

    Florida certainly has the same level of fandom, but c’mon, even the Gator fans I know can’t honestly tell me they think Gainesville is a ‘nice place’.

  66. Stu,

    See #100

    Nashville is pretty, agreed (and the women are gorgeous at Vandy, humina humina) but maybe for me the city is too big and therefore, the college atmosphere is not personal enough like it is at Athens.

  67. Let me add that while the fandom may not quite compare to the upper tier SEC teams, I have heard Oxford (the Grove) and the women at Ole Miss make as good a surroundings for any pair of eyes!

  68. Alex,

    I had/have very little interest in attending school or living in a college town. I want more to do. Nashville’s the perfect size for me—not too big, but big enough.

  69. Love Nashvegas…We live about 2 1/2 hours away and go down there a few times a year. There is plenty to do when you need a weekend away from work. The city is just big enough. Not too big, not too small.

    Also, FSU will never be back on top or near the top until Bobby Bowden moves on. He is a legend there, but it is time.

  70. I’ve been traveling and am now catching up on the previous threads…

    Dix, FYI, I’m with you in spirit for most of the arguments, especially as they relate to the Big Ten stuff, but I think there are some good parts of living in a college town after the age of 22. I also live in Madison full-time, and after 5 months in Baltimore, I’m excited to get back to southern Wisconsin, weather and all. This isn’t a knock on Baltimore – there are plenty here who will do that, I’m sure – it’s just a statement that a place becomes your own for different reasons, in different ways. Mainly, I miss my friends and intellectual community, something not even New York can provide for me right now (and I love New York). Plus, Madison is a cool little city with some good bars and many coffee shops and a decent lecture circuit and a host of outdoor activities available.

    All that said, I’d rather be curb checked than move to Oxford or Auburn.

  71. Speaking of Mellow Mushroom, growing up in Atlanta I got to enjoy their take on pizza many times over the years, and for about three years in high school I went there every Wednesday night for team trivia.

    Of course, for Athens-to-Atlanta transplants, there’s just no beating the Varsity. I’m convinced that despite the awesome existence of Five Guys Burgers & Fries (easily one of the best fast food chains on the East Coast), if they opened a Varsity within the DC city limits, my quality of life would increase by at least 15%.

  72. Frosted orange, frosted orange, 3 frosted oranges.

    I always hit up with Varsity and the Taco Stand when I am back in Athens.

    Funny Varsity story: I was at the Varsity in Atlanta before a Braves game and it was relatively slow. My father, brother, and I walked up to the counter and one of the employees told us to look at the exit. We asked who it was, and he responded, “Chipper Jones. He just ordered 6 chilli dogs. I bet you he hits a homerun tonight.”

    Chipper didn’t hit any homeruns, but Larry Walker had a great game, and from then on out my father always wanted the Braves to trade for Larry Walker. 6 chilli dogs for Larry Walker? Sounds fair to me.

  73. Macon was a pretty good music town during the Capricorn years. I remember seeing Blue Oyster Cult, Eric Quincy Tate, the Allman Brothers, Wet Willie and many other bands mix and match during the 1972 -1974 time period when I frequented those dives. Of course, few of you were even born then.

  74. I see why Chipper didn’t hit a homer, 6 chilli dogs from the Varsity! He is lucky his stomach didn’t explode!

  75. FYI and hearkening back to a prior post by somebody I’m too lazy to give proper credit:

    The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Parcells is on the verge of accepting the job, with only a few minor details to be worked out. In a story on its Web site, the paper said a deal could be completed later in the day with Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

    “I think I probably will do it,” Parcells said. “The job description is to be the football operations overseer. We still have a little work to do, but I don’t think it’s anything major. I don’t expect any real deal-breaker. I don’t think there will be any major hangups.”

  76. Alex- where in Tampa did you live? My parents live in Tampa and I spent some of my youth there and we’ll be going there for Christmas.

    Tampa is not as bad as Orlando, which being a Floridian I can say without a doubt is hell on earth. Tampa is just too big and spread out for any local feel to it- we’re just a bunch of connected suburbs.

    Gainesville is a great college town- loved going to school there. The surroundings aren’t the best, but I didn’t decide on UF because I thought Alachua County is awesome.

  77. These guys coming out and admitting they used steroids and/or HGH the number of times mentioned in the report is an absolute joke. I’m sorry, but you cannot get any kind of results from taking those 1 or 2 times. Brian Roberts claimed he took steroids once (the report claims 1-2 times), then didn’t do it again because he realized he made a terrible decision. He previously had denied vigorously ever using performance-enhancing drugs. Oh, those drugs! I thought you were talking about some other drugs. Here’s what he should have said.

    “Well, since you caught me, I’ll admit that I did it once with my buddies out behind the dugout in Spring Training. All the kids were doing it and I just tried it once. I didn’t enhance (inhale) though. I actually tried to run slower after taking it because I didn’t want people to notice I was on drugs.”

    Here’s Pettitte’s take on getting caught. “I haven’t done anything,” he said. “I guess reports are saying I’ve used performance-enhancing drugs. I’ve never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball before. Now Pettitte wants us to believe he took HGH only twice in 2002, and only because he wanted to heal faster for his team’s sake?

    “I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal,” Pettitte said.

    What he should have said is:

    “Some dude came up to me and said he had a shot that would make me feel more better. I think his name was Dr. Jekyl. He said my injury would heal really fast, like one of those characters from Heroes.” After I took it, I was like, save the pettitte, save the Yankees man! But I only took it those two times, even though I have been injured a lot. I guess my body retained the HGH and I always healed more faster after that.”

    Give me a freakin’ break!

  78. Man, you have to check out the article on TalkingChop here. The article is funny as hell, but this line got a couple of readers upset:

    Eddie Perez who said through an interpreter, “fuck man, if that fat gringo can play then I’m going to take a crack at that backup catcher job.”

    So the funniest part is watching the bloggers go at it. HeHe. First thing to know before going is that the article is totally fabricated.

  79. A gazillion years ago, I took various pills to keep me awake during cram sessions. Do these count as PEDs?

  80. I am just guessing that the 6 chili dogs were possibly for some other Braves players + Chipper. I seriously doubt he ate all 6.

    I could believe Shaq doing that, but Chipper is more ‘mortal’ sized and would be running to the clubhouse bathroom faster than Joe Paterno after Mexican food.

    The Varisty, by the way, is disgusting. Just like the now defunct Guthrie’s, I felt as though I should have been hooked up to a heart monitor the few times I braves eating a hamburger at The Varsity.

    And 5 Guys is fantastic AAR, but having regularly gone to the west coast (since all my in-alws and several friends are stationed throughout California and Oregon), the best hambuergers in America are In N Out.

    (I also really enjoy Fat Burger everytime I go to Vegas).

  81. Also, a big shout out to the overlooked ‘Red Mill’ Hamburgers that can be found only in Seattle.

    Along with a Mac n Jack beer (a seattle brew), it’s a delicious treat.

  82. If I were able and my wife had allowed it, I probably would have eaten Varsity food for every day of my 3 years in Athens. Of course, my 3 years in Athens probably would have turned to about 3 months, but what a way to go.

  83. Stu,

    I believe both Atlanta & Athens conveniently keep several hospitals within strategic driving distances of ALL Varsity locations.

  84. This from MLB Trade Rumors:

    Interesting late-game suitors for Dan Haren: the Rockies and Braves. You wonder, then, whether they’ll also inquire on Bedard

    I thought we weren’t looking into more starting pitching, but that is a good sign – if true.

  85. No, it’s current, Alex. He’s saying that we tried to get in on Haren before the A’s ultimately settled on Arizona’s offer. It’s somewhat encouraging.

  86. Alex, I’ve heard that about In ‘N Out, and one of these days I’m gonna have to go there myself. I wonder what Wren could possibly have offered for Haren, though? Considering the prospects Beane got from Arizona, I can’t imagine what kind of prospect package we would have had to give up.

    And I never would have believed that Bedard could be had, but considering they traded Tejada, I guess it can be done. It’ll cost the farm, though.

  87. Our best prospects would be more worth it for Haren than Bedard, but I would gladly welcome either starter to Atlanta.

  88. I just want to say that the Mariners’ near acquisition of Carlos Silva is so ridiculous that I can only breathe a sigh of relief that I root for a moderately sane team.

  89. I like Bedard, and it’s just my personal opinion, but I think Haren’s better.

    But this is a 6 of 1 argument; either is a big time upgrade addition to our staff.

    Frankly, I would take whichever starter costs us less prospects.

  90. yeah i don’t know how we could offer a package like what arizona did (which i guess would be why we didn’t land haren, if the rumor is even true).

    i’m with stu on the willing to offer prospects though. we were willing (jokingly… mostly) to give an entire low A team for Peavy. heh heh. everything within reason though.

  91. by the way…

    So I’ve got papers to write and I’m doing everything I can to not do it. And it’s not like I need extra excuses for wasting time on-line. But I happened to catch a good portion of Paul Shirley’s chat yesterday. I’ve read just a couple of his things here and there, but not much. Can anyone recommend his book? Does it really give any fun insights into the NBA as promised? Just wondering…

    It’s probably moot since I’ll most likely be writing a paper on my flight home instead of light reading anyway. Interested to know if anyone’s read it though.

  92. For fun:

    BEDARD
    Age: 29
    Years left on contract: 2
    Per-year salary: Depends on arbitration awards—probably twice as expensive as Haren
    IP: 182
    IP/GS: 6.5
    ERA+: 146
    WHIP: 1.09
    K/9: 10.93
    K/BB: 3.88
    HR/9: 0.94

    HAREN
    Age: 27
    Years left on contract: 3
    Per-year salary: $4MM; $5.5MM; $6.75MM
    IP: 222.67
    IP/GS: 6.55
    ERA+: 137
    WHIP: 1.21
    K/9: 7.76
    K/BB: 3.49
    HR/9: 0.97

    Haren is cheaper, a couple years younger, signed for one more relatively inexpensive year, and appears to be more durable. Bedard has better peripherals. I’d take either. :)

  93. warning…………..tallahassee, and the rest of florida for that matter, sucks. do not come here for any reason and if you’re already here, pack up and head north immediatly. we have alligators, snakes, bears, savage wild boars and panthers here. not to mention the brutal heat and humidity,bibical plagues of disease carrying insects, and the worst critter of all, the hordes of unreconstructed yankees who move here and spend their time bitching because this place is nothing like new jersey, or michigan etc. whats that?? this is a baseball blog?? ok………..nevermind

  94. But this is a 6 of 1 argument; either is a big time upgrade addition to our staff.

    I’m worried it would be a 6 for 1!

    By the way, the Mets picked up Matt Wise. I think it’s pretty clear that Minaya and Randolph aren’t overreacting to last year’s collapse.

  95. Coop,
    No sweat. If the Falcons got Parcells, I guess I’d have to root for him. At least we know it’ll be another “three-year plan” for him.

    I saw pretty much all the Southern Rock acts you mention, usually in Columbus. But I did make it to Macon once in the 1970s for a concert at the Coliseum (1978?). Saw Boston with opening act, Sammy Hagar (post-Montrose). I was a sophomore in HS & we drove in a Chevy van all the way from Columbus.

    I do recall that Boston was a pretty boring live act & sounded just like the record. Sammy Hagar ran all over the stage like he was getting chased by rabid dogs. He was kind of amusing in a “look-at-me-I’m-busting-my-ass-to-rock-for-you kind of way.” Very Tenacious D, he was.

    But most of my memories from the experience are, um, a little foggy, if you know what I mean.

    FYI – Two original members of REM are from Macon. They went to Northeast High.

  96. Tallahassee was a great place to grow up. Not too big, not too small. Nice people. It’s a pretty town with the rolling hills and oak trees…close to the unspoiled coast and back-in-time rivers like the Wakulla. It’s also more liberal/arts-oriented than much of the South. I’m tempted to move back, though it does get hot as Hades in the summer.

    OK, enough shilling for the ol’ hometown. As for the Varsity, I ate there once when visiting colleges 20-odd years ago. I haven’t been back despite living in ATL those next 20 years. My burger was so greasy it ate my napkin. That scared me.

  97. Okay, since it’s been mentioned, I have to confess that my knowledge of the Capricorn years is virtually nil. What Southern rock do you guys recommend, other than Lynyrd and Allman?

  98. AAR,
    That’s the classic debate—Skynyrd or Allmans? That one can go round & round. I don’t know what it says about me, but I prefered Skynyrd. Saw ’em both (Allmans post-Duane, obviously) & Skynyrd was way better.

    IMO, those 2 stand the test of time better than the rest. I’d be hard-pressed to make a case for groups like Atlanta Rhythm Section, Wet Willie or Grinderswitch.

    And ZZ Top doesn’t count.

  99. Just for fun…

    A list of Kelly Johnson’s top 10 comparables through age 25:

    Joe Crede (965)
    Wilson Betemit (964)
    Whitey Kurowski (958)
    Randy Jackson (954)
    Jeff Kent (953)
    Ty Wigginton (953)
    Hank Thompson (953)
    Max Alvis (953)
    Jack Lohrke (952)
    Darrell Evans (950)

  100. Utley wasn’t a regular until halfway through his age 25 season and didn’t have more than 500 PA until he was 26, so that’s why he’s not on that list probably.

  101. I say over on Yunel

    I also think the Mets need to address their rotation. Glavine was a very important part for them. Pedro is going to be somewhat healthy and Maine will regress a little, but they haven’t replaced Glavine in any way

  102. Article on mlb rumors states that the Mets and Phils have made a 4 yr offer to Lohse.

    Both teams have now denied that rumor/article. I wonder if Jimmie Sexton and/or Scott Boras may be involved? Sounds like it

  103. Although he beat us down the stretch last year, I’m not against keeping Lohse in the division.

    I guess Yunel hits 12 HR in ’08. He really put up some good numbers last year.

    And Met fans are moaning like mad about Omar this off-season & his inability to address the rotation. The talk is all-Santana, all the time.

    But, from all I hear, Minnesota won’t deal with them unless Jose Reyes is in the equation. I mean, why would they?

  104. If I were Omar Minaya, I would trade David Wright, Jose Reyes, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Phil Humber, and Mike Pelfrey for Santana. Then again, I actually want the Mets to lose.

    Ububba, guess you’re not a Molly Hatchet guy, huh? What about Hydra, Marshall Tucker, or any of the other bands I see on the Capricorn Wikipedia page?

  105. Big news for Braves Journal:

    The torch is passed to a new generation. My son, who was not born when I first was bantering with Mac on Compuserve’s Baseball Forum, is now commenting (Alex B.)

    [sniff] I’m so proud.

    Mac, this doesn’t mean I’m old, it means YOU’RE old.

  106. AAR,
    Never saw or heard Hydra, but I’m well-versed in Marshall Tucker & Molly Hatchet.

    Tucker was alright. They were sort of country-rock with pleasant melodies & a hint of an edge. They had flutes & “long-haired-country-boy” lyrics. If Canned Heat were from Spartanburg, they might be Marshall Tucker.

    Molly Hatchet was basically pseudo-Skynyrd. They showed up almost immediately after Van Zant died—they were from Jacksonville, too. Typical triple-axe attack with growling lyrics & overdone redneck stance.

    Their album cover art was always a Frank Frazetta painting (Conan the Barbarian, etc.) They were sort of the Spinal Tap of Southern rockers. In south Columbus, where I grew up, you’d hear Hatchet blaring out of Camaros & Dusters for blocks around.

    So, to this day, whenever I hear “Flirting With Disaster” or “Gator Country,” I actually laugh out loud. Can’t help it.

    One More Hatchet Thing: The late Danny Joe Browne was Molly Hatchet’s original singer, but he left them to start his own group.

    Its name (and I shit you not): Danny Joe Browne & The Danny Joe Browne Band.

    Saw them, too.

  107. I think the Orioles would go for it (they are rumored to want to sign Tex long term when he becomes a free agent), and I would rather have a strong pitching foundation than an excellent 1st baseman (sign Bedard long term rather than Tex). Only problem is, we would need to find a way to replace some offense.

  108. Ububba-

    My memories of the late sixties and early seventies are also a bit hazy. Must have been something in the air we were breathing. Anyway, I can’t remember the name of the clubs (there were two, in particular) I frequented, but I remember seeing Martin Mull playing his guitar and singing. Who knew?

    I was last in Athens for an extended period in 1969 – 1972, The B-52s seemed to be everywhere, but the only two other groups (?) I remember were Jackson Browne and Richie Haven. Haven played in a small venue bar near Athens General. It was called something like the Cellar or Joe’s Cellar, IIRC.

  109. I grew up in Jax and ran in the same crowds as the Van Zants on the Westside. Allen Collins’ mother lived two doors down from us and he was never really coherant after the plane crash. I remember where I was the day I heard about the crash, in the lunchroom during breakfast in 7th grade. Someone brought in the original Street Survivors album and we sat and talked about our favorite memories. At that time, we didn’t know who made it through.

    They used to hang out at the Little Brown Jug off of Stockton St back in the day.

    Saw the Rossington Collins Band (Gary Rossington/Allen Collins) play at Jacksonville Beach on the beach the first time Freebird was recorded live since the crash. That was 1982. Unbelieveable!

    Had a girlfriend that thought Molly Hatchet was the name of the lead singer of that band. 38 Special , Blackfoot and others come to mind. Those were the days. The closest thing to them today is 3 Doors Down, who was influenced by Skynyrd. they are a garage band version of Skynyrd.

    If John Rocker was of age in the early 70s, I have no doubt he would have ended up a southern rock icon.

  110. heres my vote for the allman brother(s) band………..i listen to the Live At The Filmore disc and cant believe that these guys were all in their early 20’s………..they sure played like full grown men. skynryd is great radio music but their muscianship doesnt really compare. funny thing is, my favorite skynryd tune is a j.j. cale song.

  111. I’m enjoying the hell out of this southern rock discussion but have nothing to add…other than catching Marshall Tucker outdoors in Greenville, SC round about 1980. They played free on the Fourth.

    Allmans over Skynyrd.

  112. AAR –

    My belief is that they want a buttload of prospects b/c most teams wouldn’t be willing to part with a proven talent like Tex. However, I think we would part with him b/c of the uncertainty of keeping him. But the catch here is that the Orioles would only do it if they could sign Tex to an extension, which would probably never happen anyways.

    I was just saying it would be a trade I’d do – not likely a realistic scenario.

  113. bwarrend,
    Molly Hatchet…like Alice Cooper? Those guys in makeup/eyeliner would be terrifying.

    I saw .38 Special a few times, too. Ronnie Van Zant’s little brother Donnie (I think) was in the group. His job seemed to be running all over the stage with a Confederate flag.

  114. CSG, thanks for the link. I was actually impressed with the interview — he basically touched on everything we’ve criticized him for all offseason. He was clearly as frustrated with his 2007 as we were, and he talked about needing to improve his slider like we’ve all been saying. He mentioned his fatigue, and said that he’ll try to throw less in between starts to try to cut down on wear and tear, and he says the doctors are optimistic about the rotator cuff tear. (No surgery required.)

    And, in the interest of letting his arm heal, he won’t be working at Lowe’s this offseason.

  115. Chuck James: “I’m pretty much going to forget about this year, or treat it as a learning experience”

    I know which I’d prefer he choose out of these two polar opposites.

  116. Even though they’d never do it, would anyone do a Bedard deal based on Francouer?

    Say Francouer, Lillibridge, and Hanson.

  117. Coop,

    Martin Mull released a number of records on Crapricorn in the early 70’s. I used to work for a guy that produced some of his stuff and he still claimed Martin Mull was the funniest person he’d ever met.

  118. Stu,

    He mentioned he expects to get traded to the AL eventually so he sees no point in learning about NL hitters.

  119. It’s almost not possible to have a more random memory, but Martin Mull was in this movie called Serial — a fish out of water comedy in which he played a straitlaced guy in a hippie commune. Bad movie, but I still quote this exchange (approx):

    Mull: Nice to meet you, my name’s Harvey.
    Hippie Woman: My name is Woman.
    Mull: Really? How do you get your mail?

    Baseball season is soon, right?

  120. Re: Skynyrd, I was a Tech student when Street Survivors came out. After hearing a couple of the songs on the radio, I bought the album. Thought it was some of the best stuff they had done in years. The original album art showed the band engulfed in flames, and included order forms for gear connected to the tour they were launching in support of the album. They were scheduled to play the Omni. At about that same time Crosby, Stills and Nash were also touring, and tickets for both shows went on sale the same morning. I could only afford one show, and I decided to buy CSN tickets. As I turned away from the counter, I discovered the agent had accidently given me Skynyrd tickets instead. She exchanged them and I got the CSN seats as intended.

    A short time later they crashed in Mississippi, before the Atlanta date. The album was later reissued without the band flambe on the cover.

  121. I think Martin Mull’s songs were funny too, but I’m not sure it was totally intentional. He wasn’t John Prine or Kris Kristofferson in what’s left of my memory.

  122. Never saw the Allmans, but I did get married four blocks from Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, where Duane Allman is buried. In retrospect, I’d have been better off hanging out with ol’ Duane that afternoon….

  123. Absolutely; the Royals with little $ and Dayton Moore in charge, have become my ‘de facto’ AL team. Go Dayton.

    Unlike the Nationals, the Royals actually seem to do some things that make sense.

    It won’t matter though. The Tigers will bludgeon the division at this pt.

    re: Parcells

    I hope the Big Tuna stinks in Miami.

    I was really excited when I heard Blank was bringing Parcells to Atlanta and now Parcells has managed to help humiliate the Falcons for a 3rd time in less than 6 months.

    I am rather digusted by Parcells, frankly, who always acts all high & mighty. He’s a phony.

  124. Not sure why the royals are spending 8million on a left reliever… but at least they’re trying.

    By the way… Shilling has called for Clemens to give up 4 of his Cy Young awards.

  125. Personally, I’m glad the Parcells thing fell through. Seems to me his is way past his prime, and exactly what evidence do we have that he is a good executive anyway? It would have been more of a PR move than anything.

  126. Six of Dallas’ pro bowlers this year were acquired during Parcells’ tenure. I guess it could be a coincidence that they started drafting better once he showed up.

  127. @197

    Sign Mahay for $4/year for 2 years and, ideally, he becomes a nice trading chip in July.

    If the Yankees, Rays, Giants and Padres were interested in signing him, they’ll probably be up for acquiring Mahay for a prospect or two before the trading deadline. So you’re basically paying for prospects.

    Kansas City has the money to spend. I suspect Jose Guillen was signed to be traded as well. He’s signed for one-year for $5 mil (with $3 mil in incentives) and a mutual option for 2009. That’s very tradeable if Guillen has a solid year, and Guillen is only 31, making it a good gamble.

    Dayton Moore didn’t fall off the turnip truck. Trust me.

  128. @196

    I like the Nats’ offseason moves. They’ve put together a young OF with a lot of upside and brought in LoDuca on a cheap, one-year deal to buy more time for their Rule 5 catcher from last year. For this, they paid virtually nothing.

    You can’t get hung up on them picking up Willie Harris and Pete Orr. They’re backups being paid as backups. Big deal.

    The Nats are also looking to trade Austin Kearns (with a Pena-Dukes-Milledge in OF) and Felipe Lopez (with Belliard at 2B) for pitching, so getting depth from Harris and Orr is useful. Neither would see the field much, but all teams have backups and it keeps them from rushing actual prospects.

  129. @182

    I meant the Braves. I figure the Orioles would do it. I mean, if they trade Bedard at all.

    Francouer is a proven player under control for three more years; that is by far better than any other package that I’ve heard about. Especially if you throw in Lillibridge and a high upside pitching prospect like Hanson, Rohrborough or Locke.

    Marketing aside, and I like Francouer, I can’t help but think the Braves would be better with Bedard in the staff than they would be without him and Francouer in the lineup and outfield.

    I would also think it would fairly easy to pick up Matt Murton, and that Bedard easily makes up for the difference between he and Francouer (even including the prospects surrendered).

  130. Say Francouer, Lillibridge, and Hanson.

    2006 Win Shares:
    Francoeur 22
    Bedard 19

    Francoeur is five years younger than Bedard, cheaper and under control for longer. I like Bedard and all, but there is no way hell I’d trade that package for him.

  131. I don’t think James is as dumb about the hitters as he leads people to believe. He probably at least studies scouting reports about hitters before facing them.

  132. I am thinking that 19 win shares from a starting pitcher are worth a lot more than 22 from a 162-game right fielder.

    Not saying I make the trade, just refuting this piece of logic.

  133. I was sure the Yanks would pony up for Mahay. Glad to see he’s KC-bound.

    The Bad News: I found out today that, after 3 years of no price increases, my Yanks’ season tickets are going to cost $8 more per game—from $17 to $25. Yikes.

    It’s the last season at the old stadium with the All-Star Game coming in July, so they’re milking it (and bilking me).

    BTW, I’m no Roger Clemens fans, but please, Curt Schilling, STFU already.

  134. Schilling is a chud, but it’s nice to see those two guys lumped together in what might become an entertaining dispute. There’s no winner here, just more tarnish for each.

  135. I suspect choad is newer to our lexicon than chud. Both are descriptive of Curt, bless his soul for slaying the Yankee dragon but please shut up before there is absolutely no redeeming value even in that triumph.

  136. @ 205

    You’re right about Jose Guillen. KC signed him to a 3-year, $36 million contract. That does seem to be too much to me.

    The $5 mil contract with an option was his previous contract with Seattle. I guess rejecting the option paid off.. dang.

  137. what’s with the crazy trade proposals for Bedard here? i feel like i’m looking at a trade in MLB 2K7 here.

    if they are gonna be able to get Bedard, it’s gonna have to be a package of six prospects, one blue-chipper, another high-level prospect, and a bunch of A-level players. these deals don’t usually include players like Tex or especially Francoeur, as that would make absolutely zero sense on the Braves end.

    if they can’t sign Tex before the season starts, expect him to be gone before the deadline for a young player under control for several more years, or a package of prospects around a top prospect (a la Ellsbury, not him exactly, but that type). As nice as it would be to land Bedard, I don’t think that the Braves have enough depth in the minor league system to pull it off

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